Obstetrics Clinicals SCARE me so much im considering dropping out :(

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    I find myself at very stressful point in my life as Ill be starting my LD/OB clinical rotation next semester. The prospect of what ill be asked to do there terrifies me and I wish I could just pass with the theory part. Ive always been a very awkward guy and intensly uncomfortable in any sort of intimate situation (im straight but im still a virgin but plz dont ask about my age it just never seems to work out and i sure been trying for a long time and i think it would prob be topic for another forum) But for me I guess its going to creat a HUGE white elephant in room when ill need to see my patient and make her feel very uncomfortable too as she sees how unconfident i appear. I was rather pushed into nursing out of secure career considerations and am running out of options now quickly. I really want to suceed but dont think i have the psychological strength to suceed in nursing if its what is required of me in clinicals.
    Last edit by canadiandude on Feb 29, '12

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  3. 40 Comments...

  4. 0
    I have a feeling that you might just be pulling my leg but I'll bite anyway.......

    When I started nursing (1977) I was innocent, I was one of 3 girls, and in those days, "good girls" didn't talk about those things. I was fresh out of high school and although I was aware of what the male anatomy was for and looked like.....I had never really looked or touched one. Although difficult at first you can still go forward. You will be performing very intimate tasks for your patients and if you really don't think you have the "physiological strength" then maybe you are right and nursing isn't for you. Nursing is actually more intense than clinicals and you need to decide that you are willing to do what it takes to be a nurse.

    About those secure career considerations that forced you in the direction of nursing........many new grads are not finding employment or finding employment extremely difficult after graduation.

    What is keeping New Grads/less experienced Nurses from being hired and solutions?

    Nurses Are Talking About: Jobs for New Grads

    The Big Lie?
    Losing Our Skills
    The Holy Grail
    Take a Job, Any Job
    Get Out of the Hospital
    Back to School?
    Does Uncle Sam Want You?
    Feel Like a Little Golf?
    Give Us a Chance
    Medscape: Medscape Access (requires registration but it is free.)

    Good luck
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    Thanks for the prompt reply and no im not pulling your leg and im not fresh out of highschool so it makes things that much worse (particularly how western culture looks at guys in my "not teen but not quite-adult position" in life and how it makes us feel). Ive been thinking for a while now that nursing isnt for me but theres not much i can do and dont wanna be stuck in minimum wage job all my life but I guess thats better than doing something that you hate for the rest of your life (elderly care like changing diapers and cleaning also makes me very uncomfortable and i always thought that i could become a psych nurse or ER (or you know like assisting in surgery like on medical shows) nurse where there would be little of that). I guess I had a very wrong image of what is required of a nurse or had been watching too many medical tv dramas.
    Last edit by canadiandude on Feb 29, '12
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    Most likely all you will be asked to do is take vitals and stand in the corner. Don' worry, you won't be touching anyone's genitals in an L&D capacity as a nursing student. HOWEVER. You should already have done peri care ( I am assuming you are already a nursing student?), and if you haven't you will have to do it at some point. You do need to have a certain amount of comfort with the genitals of both sexes, no matter what specialty of nursing you go into. Actually L&D is the least of your problems, because most of the time these ladies are able to completely care for themselves after the initial postpartum period!

    Maybe spend some time researching female anatomy? Sometimes all it takes is more exposure to become comfortable- just looking at picture in a textbook and becoming familiar with parts/names might help. Good luck!
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    A couple of suggestions - Use some self talk to remind yourself...the patient is in an unfamiliar situation as well. Many patients find that it is just as embarassing to have to void or move their bowels in front of you and by this point in your classes, I am sure you have been exposed to this so try keeping that in mind.

    Maintain eye contact. Practise conversations...ie. introducing yourself, describing to the patient what you are going to be doing, etc. Practise questions which let the patient take the lead. " Patient Name, your doctor is going to examine you now...do you need any assistance getting ready.."(remember they will have been exposed to this in during the prenatal visits) Create some scenarios and work your way through what your role will be and what you might say during these times. As a student, it will be mostly observational.

    Quietly observing will get you a long way and help you through this experience(it is when a person talks alot that the patient realizes what your comfort level is). If you have a good relationship with your instructor, talk to her about being shy and ask that she help. I had a female classmate who lived in dread of her clinical obs experience. She got through it and like she said...that is all that is needed. So break the clinical into chunks in your mind, cross off each day and you will do fine.
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    When I worked as a Fire fighter and med provider I learned to put on a hat so to speak. One hat was the work hat that could take all of the drama and horrible situations and experiences remain professional and think, and one for home. The work hat stayed at work and the home hat at home. This helped me remain myself around the family and act accordingly to situations and treat my family one way. My work hat comes with a hole different persona that can handle all sorts of smells, situations, people that the home me cannot. The more you can separate the two the better. When my wife asks about parts of my job I keep it simple and definitely sensor what comes out because I know some things are just best left at work. Some people can do this, some can't. One way to get better is to engage with those people at work and talk about you feelings like previously mentioned exspose your self to as close to the situation as you can..
    tila.12 and Staragate like this.
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    Don't make a rash decision while you're emotional. They tend to never be the right one. So, suck it up, go to clinical, and act like you've done it before (no pun intended).
  10. 0
    OB is the coolest thing ever. And people don't just go home after getting sick, they go home with a baby! Stop freaking out, it's just another chapter in your schooling. As one poster commented, no one is going to let you do anything important so relax, you don't get to see babies born every day, unless you work in OB of course.
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    Your instructors are going to pre-screen your mothers to make sure they are ok with a male student so you need not feel awkward. Remember you are there to learn some very interesting and important skills. Your interaction with the mother is a very superficial and casual one at best when you are the nursing student. In my own experience the mother I was assigned to questioned me relentlessly about why I chose nursing , if I liked the L&D aspect of it etc. She was perfectly fine with me straight cathing her ( with all 8 ofer family members watching me lol ) and she was 100% ok with me and my classmate witnessing her vaginal birth. I too was very nervous about L&D but you just got to put your nurse hat on so to speak and get the job done. On a funny note I remember doing Nursery with 14 babies , I have never seen so many angry little humans in my life rofl. So CHIN UP and DO IT cause it is all worth it in the end.
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    When I worked as a Fire fighter and med provider I learned to put on a hat so to speak. One hat was the work hat that could take all of the drama and horrible situations and experiences remain professional and think, and one for home. The work hat stayed at work and the home hat at home. This helped me remain myself around the family and act accordingly to situations and treat my family one way.
    Pretty much what ggoodman wrote! When you go onto any ward/nursing environment put your nursing hat on. Even if your not a natrually confident guy..you can bluff it! walk with your back straight shoulders apart and when you talk to people keep eye contact. It is helpful

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